Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain product line includes 4 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Nutrish Zero Grain Turkey and Potato [A]
  • Nutrish Zero Grain Salmon and Sweet Potato [A]
  • Nutrish Zero Grain Beef, Potato and Bison (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Nutrish Zero Grain Chicken and Sweet Potato (3.5 stars) [A]

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Turkey and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Turkey and Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 47%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, dried peas, tapioca, whole dried potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, beef meal, natural chicken flavor, whole flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%16%47%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%33%41%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The ninth ingredient is beef meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, this recipe includes flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 47%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potato and flaxseed in this recipe as well as the pea protein contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Rachael Ray Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

10/20/2017 Last Update

  • Noelle Schmelter

    I truely believe this dog food killed my boxer. She suffered a tumor and a ruptured spleen

  • Veronica Lodge

    Stop the RR Nutrish immediately. I’m not sure why, but this food isn’t good. I’ll never torture another pet with it.

  • Veronica Lodge

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. It took me one bag with my three mutts (about 2 week’s worth, at most). Not only did they act completely off, they wouldn’t eat it no matter what I tried. Dogs know poison most of the time, I got lucky.

  • Veronica Lodge

    I’m definitely not pleased with this Rachel Ray Nutrish. Thank goodness Amazon loves us Prime members, as I received an immediate refund after my dogs (3 larger breed) started acting lethargic & just not themselves. I immediately blamed the food, as it was absolutely the only change in their daily lives. I’m not sure why it was not good for us exactly, but I’ll NEVER buy this Rachel Ray Nutrish pet food again.

  • Giselle Borden

    After some research on several websites for other experiences like mine with this food, I am confident that this food killed my golden retriever. She had gone through 1 bag, and we had just begun the second when I noticed her skin turning pink. My mom had also given her dog (Jindo Breed) this food and after the first bag noticed bloody sores all over her backside and told me to stop giving it to my golden. Upon stopping the food, my moms dog got better immediately. Unfortunately, I was too late. Despite buying a new bag of better quality dog food, one morning my dog had begun throwing up and stopped eating. She would throw up at the sight of that dog food. Within 2 weeks, despite extensive vet treatment and IV meds/fluids, her kidneys failed. She died in her sleep- with no evidence of why. The vet ran every test imaginable, and she tested negative for everything. All they could tell is that she had eaten something toxic and it shut down her organs. We were very strict with her and never fed her people food or left things laying around that she would have gotten to. We don’t have a backyard so all of her outside time was also monitored.
    After her death, I found at least 5 other stories almost identical to mine- all resulting in fatalities after giving their dogs the Rachael Ray food. The amount of people who’s dogs were near death or also experienced bloody stool or sores on their dogs were numerous.
    This is the most devestating tradgedy that could have 100% been avoided. Nobody should be afraid of killing their dog with a name brand dog food at their local grocery store. This food should be off the shelves immediately and Rachael shouldn’t have a brand of something she doesn’t understand. Absolutely devastating.

  • Rhyanna Baker

    My dog was eating it at first but then after I had to substitute another for when we didn’t have it , her appetite changed so now I am not sure what to do she’s eating smaller portions and she will not eat this Rachael Rays food…. Now the other dogs in the house will eat it , mine is finicky I suppose..

  • Jennifer “cndljen” McVey

    You’re welcome! It’s rated really high on here. And I liked the ingredients that’s why I went with it first. But dogs are different and she got itchy from it.